If you were to ask my son what one of his favorite, if not his #1 favorite recipe that his Dad makes is, this one would be it. For his birthday he asked for chicken and waffles, but instead of fried chicken, he asked for these instead. Now, i apologize in advance for the prep time on these, they truly are a labour of love. You definitely need to give yourself a couple of minutes prep per drumstick so maybe trying these for the first time when you have a big group of people coming over is not the best idea. Once you get the hang of them then you can blow everyone’s socks off with this incredible dish.
To turn regular chicken legs into lollipops, you’ll need a sharp knife and a pair of kitchen shears. Start by making a cut all of the way around the leg just below the knuckle, cutting through the skins and tendons using either a sharp knife or a pair of kitchen shears. Push the meat down to the large end and pull/cut the remaining skin and cartilage off the knuckle. You might want to also remove the tiny bone right against the leg. Remove this bone with your fingers or the shears, and trim away the tendons sticking out the top.
Season the chicken legs with bbq seasoning and wrap the ends of each drumstick with aluminum foil
Start your smoker on the smoke function (180°F) then place the chicken lollipops right on the grill grates and let them smoke for 30 minutes
Remove the chicken, turn the temperature up to 350F and let preheat for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the stick of butter in a baking pan or cast iron pan and put on the grill to allow the butter to melt while the grill is coming to temperature. (The butter doesn’t need to cover the chicken. It just keeps the drumstick moist and of course gives it a little added buttery finish.)
Arrange the lollipops in the pan with the bones sticking up straight. Let the chicken cook for about 40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165F on an instant-read thermometer.
Meanwhile, warm up the barbecue sauce in a small saucepan on the stove over low heat. If you want it to have that Louisiana kick, add in a few squirts of the hot sauce, to your taste. Once it starts to thin, turn down the heat to just keep it warm. If the sauce needs to be thinned, pour in a little bit of the butter used in the pan until it reaches a thickness that is thick enough to adhere to the drumsticks but not gluey.
Dip the lollipops into the barbecue sauce so that it is completely covered. You can also brush the barbecue sauce on the bones if you want a uniform look and sheen on the lollipops.
Increase the temperature to 450F. Place the chicken directly on the grill grate and cook until the internal temperature registers 175F, about 10 more minutes. Keep an eye on the lollipops to make sure that the glaze doesn’t burn. You’re looking for that perfect caramelization of the barbecue sauce on the outside with a crisp skin to give a little texture
The great thing about this recipe is that once you have the basics figured out you really can have lots of fun with them. Mix up your BBQ sauces, do some spicy and some sweet, wrap them in bacon, or soak them in buttermilk, coat them and then throw them in the fryer!! Please give this recipe a try and then let me know what cool spin you’ve put on it by leaving a comment in the section below . Enjoy!!